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RE: Dino sex



The late British paleontologist Beverly Halstead worked on dinosaur sex,
and gave some lectures on it which are remembered to this day by people
who saw them (alas I never did, but I have talked to some who have).
This included acting out dinosaur sex with an assistant on stage.

This work is reported briefly in one of the chapters in R. McNeil
Alexander's book The Dynamics of Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Giants.  

My recollection (which might be off) is that Halstead pointed out
several difficulties with dinosaur sex:

-  The large stiff tails made it hard to get the cloaca of male & female
in close proximity.  If the male mounted from the rear, the female's
tail would be in the way.  The male's tail is too stiff on most
dinosaurs that it could be twisted vertically and put under the tail.

-  The mass of the largest dinosaurs was enough that it would put an
enormous strain on the female if the male mounted her the way that large
mammals do (i.e. with both front legs supported on the female's back).

-  Bipedal dinosaurs were in an especially tough situation, with regard
to balance.  

I believe that Halstead suggested that the position used was for the
male to stand right beside the female, with both front feet on the
ground.  The mail would then throw one rear leg over the female's back,
and twist his tail under the female's tail, at almost a right angle,
putting their cloaca in the right vicinity.   I believe that something
like this is done by crocodiles and some lizards.

Note that this is not my theory - it is Halstead's.  However it does
make a certain amount of sense.

Nathan